Friday, August 30, 2013

Seattle Rumdrops: Rumba's Outcast of the Islands

Outcast of the Islands
Our answer to Seattle's long and enduring summer heat? Ummm...a cold shower? No, seriously. How about a Rumba retreat?! This week's Rumdrops' post captures another bit of tiki found just off the shores of Elliott Bay. After the launch of their new menu filled with goodies, including a few gems from Tiki Tuesdays, I became interested. Needless to say, a visit was in order. Behold Outcast of the Islands; a sherry drink gone Tiki style. Its name is based off the 19th century novel by Joseph Conrad about a man in the colonial era troubled by his relationship with nature while adventuring in far away lands. Conjured by Connor O'Brien and perfected by Jana Howard, this 'tail is full of fun earthy flavors evolving as you sip it and changing you forever. After some prying for the story behind this libation, Connor begins the tale,
"We had some cinnamon syrup sitting for Zombies and I wanted to do something else with it. I love sherry, and I threw the two together with some Jamaican Rum....a good idea but it needed more." He then called upon Jana and proudly went on about how she, "dialed in a good roasty aromatic rum blend and the masterful stroke of using tamarind..."
So what's in this blendLemon Hart 151, a staple in the art of Tiki, forms the (strong) backbone about which the love happens and the harmony of flavors erupt. After my first few sips its complexity became clear and I needn't rush the foreplay at hand. Try following along using your mind's tongue. Really, let's keep it clean people! Or not? I initially notice the bold demerara flavors of Lemon Hart mingling with the fresh lime juice. Then, the mildly aromatic, but pungent flavor of the tamarind paste really gets the juices going. In fact, it is one of the few rum libations I am aware of, outside the Jamaican Cockfight, which uses this exotic ingredient. After I started moving my straw, faster up and down, the exterior of the glass becomes covered in a silver frost. Beautiful...and dripping wet (see photo). Grab hold of the hard cinnamon stick and try sipping out of it just for fun. The wave of flavor coats my tongue as the liquid slowly moves inside my mouth; subtle, but sweet, the cinnamon syrup shines mid palate opening up to the Dry Sack Sherry fruity notes as I swallow. Yum! The finish is equally satisfying revealing a pleasant array of floral agricole found in Clément Première Canne. Like the book the cocktail is named after, lose your way in all of the nature found in this vessel and contemplate your satisfaction and perhaps another selection from the Tiki menu.

Cheers to Connor and Jana for this delicious cocktail!


A Closing Quote

"I know the white man...in many lands have I seen them, always the slaves of their desires..."

Outcast of the Islands (1896), Joseph Conrad


Bonus Section!

New Menu Q & A: I ask Jana about the new menu changes. She tells me her favorite addition is the new Daiquiri section. Each daiquiri variation has a unique flavor profile and allows for easy selection. She says, pointing to the Tiki section, "advanced tiki is happening here" and by way of Tiki Tuesdays, is "building trust" in those who aren't yet familiar. I will also add the new menu format is easier to use and opens up to show off a centerfold featuring their captain's list. Here is where you will find, not only the amazing selection of rums but new prices, many of which are lower! Yes, that's right folks, more quality rums for a lower price. Win!! I ask is there anything not on the new menu and she smiles and replies "only a few rums and obviously unlisted C#*!n shit". Rum love!!

Kudoz to Rumba for a great job on their new menu!

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